As I type this, there is a crew of guys working in our yard. More specifically, they’re working in the flowerbeds—my flowerbeds. I know it shouldn’t be a big deal. A lot of people hire help, but gardening has been my thing, my passion, ever since the first spring after we got married. I’ve always taken pride in the fact that Harper and I have done the work ourselves. He takes care of the lawn, and the flowerbeds are mine. (Of course, he had to dig the flowerbeds for me first. But I helped.)
Before T was born, my garden was my muse, my therapy, and my creative outlet. Often, I would come home from work, change shoes, let the dog out, and immediately get my hands dirty–sometimes planting, sometimes weeding, sometimes pruning, but always refreshing my soul. There were always pots to water and vases begging to be filled with fresh flowers. But I wasn’t always working–I also spent plenty of time just sitting and enjoying the view.
Last spring when he was a newborn, part of me would have given anything to spend hours out in the yard. Forget a day at the spa—my hands in the dirt would have been my indulgence of choice! But it never failed, as soon as I would start something outside, it would be time to feed him or change him or try to get him to nap. So, again, I worked in short spurts.
As I’ve been able to do so much more this spring, it’s still not enough. I’ve done a lot of planting, but the weeds are still out of control in the back flowerbed. My vegetable garden was never tilled, and I’ve had tomatoes and peppers waiting to get in the ground for two months now. We’re outside all the time, but little man likes having my attention. He’ll bring me something he’s found with a smile so big I can barely see his eyes, or he’ll climb into the wagon and beg for a ride. So, I’ll put down my shovel and turn my focus to him. Right now, he’s my garden. I’m planting different kinds of seeds. I’m still nurturing, pruning, and watching amazing growth, but the fruits of my labor are even more rewarding and tangible.
These plants are beautiful, but they can wait. I will get help when I need it (even when it hurts my pride), and sometimes I might have weeds and overgrown beds, and that’s just fine because this other little garden can’t wait. Every day matters, and once the day is over, I can never have it back. It’s already going so quickly I can hardly stand it. One day (much too soon), he won’t need me as much, and he won’t be bringing me precious handfuls of sand. I’ll have more time to tend my flowerbeds than I know what to do with, and I will miss the days when I was needed more that anything or anyone in his world. But the dirt will be there for me. My muse, my therapy, my creative outlet—my garden.
May you (and your gardens) be blessed this Mother’s Day!